Our goal is to ensure that our neighbors in Dunedin & surrounding communities have a caring and respectful environment to shop our pantry shelves and provide food for their families.
We believe in Neighbors Helping Neighbors.
Dunedin Cares, Inc. Food Pantry opened our doors on November 12, 2015. Statistics indicated that even in our delightful city of Dunedin, Florida, there were pockets of people who are “food insecure”, where children go to bed hungry and elderly choose to purchase their medication over food.
Joe Mackin - President
Mike Bowman - Vice President
Barbara Read - Treasurer
Kristina Garcia - Secretary
Teresa Williams - Director
Members of the Dunedin Social Services committee acknowledge that through their research, in our community many families were hungry, felt forgotten and didn’t know where to turn for help. Surveys indicated that families were facing poverty from lost jobs, illness, financial setbacks, medical bills, etc. What little money they had was used to pay rent and utilities having to cut back on food. There were very few food pantries in Dunedin. The local churches attempted to provide food, clothing, pay utility bills but were not staffed to fill the overall need.
As a result of 4 years of surveys, meetings, discussions, and the hunger issue growing, Ed Hughes and recruited board members formed Dunedin Cares, Inc. a Florida corporation with 501(c)3, nonprofit status.
It was brought to the attention of The Board of Directors of Faith Lutheran Church that Dunedin Cares was looking for a permanent location for their food pantry. The Board approved, allowing Dunedin Cares, Inc.. to operate the Food Pantry in a room located in the back of the church. The 600 square foot space comes with it own rear entrance that works well for food distribution.
The Food Pantry opened it’s doors November 12, 2015 for the first distribution of food bags to Dunedin residents in need, providing food, help and hope. Over time we evolved from providing food bags to our clients to our current “Supermarket ” approach which encourages our clients to choose the items they would prefer.
Over the first two years Dunedin Cares has had a steady 15% growth of clientele each month. So by the fall of 2017 Dunedin Cares had outgrown their current donated space. Two local churches have been most generous in reaching out to us. One has been providing us space and is now going to provide the property where our donated Modular building will be located. The generous donation of the building from the other church is just incredible. The donated modular was moved to our new location and we began major renovations so as to comply with Public Safety codes. The modular upgrades were completed, inspections were passed and we were ready to greet our clients at the new Food Pantry on April 4, 2018.
With the opening of the new food pantry, Dunedin Cares has tripled our square footage. We could not have done this without the generous donations and the many hours our volunteers gave.
“We wish to express our sincere gratitude for your support of “Honoring the Service of Vietnam Era Veterans.” The beautiful display of the Vietnam Service Ribbon made from canned goods was a huge hit with the veterans”
Daughters of the American Revolution
“My husband and I would like to thank you for your generosity. The end of the month is very difficult for us with food provisions we use everything.
If you need volunteer help for the holiday time I would like to give back my time.”
“I’d like to extend my gratitude once again for my experience with Dunedin Cares. Not only for the food or his over the ordinary efforts but mostly for allowing me to be in a moment of true care.
For me, this is a place where I found a piece of peace. Thank you Lord for sending there and being able to meet a man of your faith.”
It is with heavy hearts that the Dunedin Cares Family said our final good byes to our beloved leader. Ed Hughes, Dunedin Cares Founder and President passed away July 25, 2019 at the age of 80. Ed and his wife, Grace moved to Florida 14 years ago from Long Island, New York and immediately became involved with the community.
In addition to being an active member of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Dunedin, Ed became involved in numerous volunteer activities through out our county. Ed’s strong determination in the fight to alleviate food insecurity in our community guided him through the lengthy process to establish Dunedin Cares Inc.’s Food Pantry in 2015.
This past May, Ed was honored at a luncheon introducing him as one of the 2019 Inductee to Dunedin’s Senior Hall of Frame for his contributions to the City of Dunedin and it’s residents.
Even as his time approached, Dunedin Cares was in his thoughts, conferring on grants and requesting in lieu of flowers, a memorial donation be made to Dunedin Cares Inc. (P.O. Box 1435, Dunedin FL 34697).
Ed’s altruistic attitude never stopped.
Ed is survived by his loving wife of 55 years, Grace; three daughters, Grace (Michael) Sherman, Mary (Keith) Edrehi and Elizabeth (Michael) Separ; brother, Joseph Hughes of New York and eight grandchildren.
Ed was a leader, mentor, teacher and father figure to the volunteers at Dunedin Cares. His towering presence and over sized grin will be missed by so many at the pantry but certainly not forgotten.
Your guidance will be missed Ed but we will continue your work until hopefully the job gets done.